A Case of the Mondays

Ya know, it’s so unfortunate Monday’s  get such a bad wrap. It’s almost as if everything is destined to go wrong on a Monday huh?

Your alarm doesn’t go off at 7am so you start your day off 30 mins behind schedule. Traffic is a mess and the D train has been stuck at Penn station for the last 12 minutes with no move insight. Finally you arrive above ground rejoicing  with 15 mins left to gleefully spare. So you pop into your usual coffee shop because who are we kidding? We already know that all work and no latte makes Jack a dull boy. But there’s a problem. Your usual barista is on vacation and the newbie behind the bar has not the slightest clue what you mean when you ask for a carmel vanilla latte with 3 shots, 2  raw, whip, and extra sauce in the cup.

“Okay so is it the vanilla cream or the vanilla flavoring you want?” she hesitantly asks.

“Umm, Im not sure because I dont work here …You do! My job is two blocks away of which I am now 3 mins past due thanks to this unfortunate interaction.”

This of course is what you want to say buuuuut you dont because you have Jesus in your life today. And like every good Jedi knows His force is strong. Particularly at this very moment seeing as while you stood sardined between two armpits on the train for 45 mins you were able to get up to date on all of your YouVersion devotionals you missed over the last 5 days. (For which you kinda should be proud of because you didnt even have to use the “catch me up” button… Hurray you)

So instead you pause, then force a hopefully convincing smile, and in a sweet voice say, “The cream is fine.”
And thats Monday.

Or is it?

Sure, some days are uppers and others are downers. The cards may land in our favor or like a vegas night we dont want to remember, leave us treking home dry. We have the power to reset our day by resetting our perspective and speaking life, positivity, peace, and prosperity into the situation.

Everything that happens in this world happens at the time God chooses. Ecclesiastes 3:1 GNT

My mother, brother, and I were running late to an event one evening and to make matters worse we were stuck behind a stalled train. With no way out on a one way street I gripped, sucked my teeth and complained. Then my mom turned to me and said,

“You dont know Tana… God could be slowing us down to save our lives from an accident up ahead.”

In that moment my mom’s perspective of the same situation, in the same car, behind the same train was utterlly and totally different than mine. I went from being frustrated and anxious to thankful and very patient.

Our perspective, when its through the eyes of positivity, goodness and Christ can take a Monday and make it feel like a Friday. Take an unpaid bill and turn it into an opportunity to grow your faith. Take the wrongdoings of another and turn it into an opportunity to demonstrate Gods love, mercy, and forgiveness. The proper perspective can even take a heartbreak or a loss and turn it into the foundation God wants to use to build something great.

Today, tomorrow, and beyond I encourage  you to change your perspective on a situation, a circumstance, or even a person that is challenging, seemingly negative, stressful, and uncomfortable. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the spiritual eyes spiritual to see things through the eyes of faith, the eyes of positivity, but most of all, through the eyes of God.

 

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RL: Day 3 Love is Kind

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When you think about kindness what comes to mind? Is it the volunteers that dedicate themselves weekly to feeding the homeless or clothing those in need? Is it the sincere conversation you had with a friend that left you feeling hopeful, supported, and energized? Is it the representative that goes the extra mile to ensure your service and experience are pleasant and pleasurable? Whatever it is, I’m almost certain that when you think of kindness you get feelings of warmth, affection or thoughts of assurance. That’s what kindness does and that’s what makes it a powerful way to experience love and express the love of God towards others.

1. Kindness puts others first

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves” Romans 12:10 NIV

To be kind, often times, requires some sort of sacrifice. Whether it be a sacrifice of ones time, abilities, materials etc., kindness is a willingness to set self aside to ensure the benefit of another. “Love cares more for others than for self.” 1Corinthians 13:4 MSG and it bears with others in the good and the bad, in strength and weakness. “We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.” Romans 15:1 ESV. Moreover, kindness does not loan out love with expectancy of return or reimbursement, it gives selflessly with no strings attached. “And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount.”  Luke 6:34 ESV

2. Kindness does not discriminate

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 NIV

We are, especially as believers and followers of Christ, redeemed ourselves by the loving kindness of God, expected to be kind to all. “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12 NIV

photo-1441205337478-70cb1521e35a.jpg We can not pick and choose who we show kindness and compassion to. Whether rich or poor, “Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.” Matthew 5:42 ESV Whether friends, “Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.” Romans 15:2  NIV or enemies, “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” Luke 6:35 NIV. Whether believers “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:10 ESV or unbelievers “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” Matthew 5:44 NIV. And the list goes on and on. Kindness is our duty and should be a part of our character as followers of Christ as it is written according to Colossians 3:12 ESV  “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts,kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.”

3.Kindness has its benefits

“A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cruel man hurts himself.” Proverbs 11:17 ESV

Being kind to others is not only beneficial to the recipient but also to the giver. Have you ever noticed how good you feel when you do something kind for someone else?photo-1443916568596-df5a58c445e9 That’s what kindness does, it rejuvenates your soul. Our spirit delights and connects with God’s mission, to love a world in need of him, and it opens the door for him to bless us for our goodness towards others. Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord,
    and he will repay him for his deed.” Proverbs 19:17 ESV. We reap what we sow so for example, if we sow mercy unto others we will also receive mercy (Matthew 5:7) and when God gives he always give better and bigger. Thats one of the reasons why I believe the bible tells us in Acts 20:35 that it is of greater blessing to give to others than to receive, because no one out gives God!

Reflection

1. How do you define kindness? Does it line up with God’s expectation of what it means to be kind?
2.What feelings do you have when you are kind to others? How does it make you feel when others are kind towards you?
3. Do/Have you discriminate(d) when showing kindness towards others? If so why? Does your behavior align with His expectations and commands for your life according to his word? If not, how can you change this?
4. Do you see any fruits of God’s blessings or goodness in your life?